MacOS Had More Malware Threats Than Windows For First Time in 2019

The popular software from Apple runs on MacBook as well as the company’s iMac devices.

Tech News
2 min read
iTunes separated into three different products. 

Over the years, MacBook and iMac users have pointed out how the ecosystem is secure from malware, keeping their devices safe. But a latest security-based report suggests those days are well and truly over.

According to Malwarebytes, a security solution provider, MacOS detected more malware threats in 2019 than Windows systems. In its latest annual report, Malwarebytes said it has observed an increase of 400 percent in the number of malware detected on MacOS. In total, they saw 24 million adware detection on Windows and 30 million on Macs.

This is a big development as, MacOS has generally turned out to be more secure than Windows, but not this time.

The report suggests that hackers are targeting MacOS more than Windows because Apple is mostly focusing on securing its system from serious malware concern, giving room for the smaller kinds to penetrate into the software. These mostly include adware and potentially unwanted program (PUP).

Macs differ drastically from Windows in terms of the types of threats seen," the report explained. It also mentions that Windows malware was targeted at the business users, who’re usually the vulnerable party, having access to data that can be worth millions if not more.

Top detections on MacOS.
Top detections on MacOS.
(Photo: Malwarebytes)

As you can see in the list above, adware named NewTab was the top detected malware on Mac in 2019. The report also gives a special mention to the OSX.Generic.Suspicious which is capable of running on a system as a cryptominer or spyware, which can steal data if activated for that purpose.

MacOS alerts users if their system is infected.
MacOS alerts users if their system is infected.
(Photo: Malwarebytes)

But MacOS users shouldn’t be overtly worried about the data and names of malware threats shared in this report. After all, only one major incident was reported to have tricked the user into downloading and opening a file which they shouldn’t have.

“That is the incident in which Coinbase, and several other cryptocurrency companies, were targeted with malware that infected systems through a Firefox zero day vulnerability. This was the first time such a vulnerability had been used to infect Macs in any significant way since 2012, when Java vulnerabilities were used repeatedly to infect Macs.”
Malwarebytes report

All in all, the Malwarebytes report should come as a wake up call to Apple, and the security solution provider is hoping the Cupertino-based giant gets serious about the security of MacOS. “If 2019’s threat landscape tells us anything, it’s that it’s time to take a good hard look at Mac security and finally get serious,” the report concludes.

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